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$6 Million Lawsuit against Richard Rawlings by Gas Monkey Bar

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Reality television star and businessman Richard Rawlings was embroiled in a $6 million defamation lawsuit filed by Gas Monkey Bar, a restaurant that he reportedly co-founded. Many were befuddled by the situation, but it seemed that Richard had only licensed his trademark to the owners of the restaurant and bar. Even before the establishment opened, accusations were hurled by the two parties, including allegations of missing financial records, reneging on a contract, and construction disruption, among other things, that led to the defamation suit.

Meet the major players in the lawsuit

When the lawsuit hit the headlines, most people were confused about how Richard Rawlings was sued by the business which he was known to have started. To understand the situation better, meet the major players in the legal battle.

Who is Richard Rawlings?

The defendant in the lawsuit was Richard Rawlings; every car nut or gearhead who loved watching reality TV shows would have known or heard of him. He was the man behind the success of “Fast N’ Loud” aired on Discovery Channel, the popular series which featured the lives of people in an auto customization and restoration shop that he owned and managed called Gas Monkey Garage, situated in Dallas, Texas. His name became bigger and bigger as his show lasted for 16 seasons, with close to 160 episodes. There were spin-off series created too, including “Mistfit Garage,” which ran for six seasons, and “Garage Rehab,” which lasted for two seasons.

Over the years after establishing the auto shop, Richard turned it into a lifestyle brand complete with apparel and other merchandise sold at his online shop. He even created alcoholic and energy beverages, as well as co-founded restaurants, bars, and venue halls. Richard was a certified crowd drawer wherever he went, especially at car conventions and shows, due simply to his magnetic personality. After not renewing his contract with Discovery Channel in 2020, he opted to create content for his official YouTube channel, which gained more than a million subscribers, and his uploaded videos accumulated over 130 million views. Essentially, he continued most of what he did in “Fast N’ Loud” on his online channel.

Who are the Gas Monkey Grill N’ Bar owners?

Richard Rawlings was the face of Gas Monkey Grill N’ Bar since he owned the brand and made it popular. However, in reality, through a contract that was drawn-up back in 2013, he gave the license to use the Gas Monkey trademark and logo to a group of investors who were the plaintiff(s) in the lawsuit, including brothers Daniel and Mike Flaherty of United Commercial Realty, Peter Ore of Talent Live Nation, and Alex Mendonsa.

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Reasons behind the $6 million lawsuit

From the photos of the opening of the Gas Monkey Grill N’ Bar, most people would think that there wasn’t any tension between the key players in the business. It was a surprise to many to learn that when the lawsuit was filed and documents were presented in court, stories about their disputes were revealed, dating back to the construction of the building of the restaurant. Here are the events that led Gas Monkey Grill N’ Bar owners to sue Richard Rawlings:

Disruption at the construction site

Owners and Richard Rawlings apparently already had a feud way back during the construction phase of the restaurant and bar in 2013, just after Richard gave the restaurant owners the license to use his brand. A bar employee named Tim Hinkhouse shared an incident about it through an email he sent in May 2013, writing, ‘Richard has been extremely disruptive. His treatment of the construction workers was beyond unacceptable. His behavior is that of a spoiled 13-year-old.’ The plaintiff also claimed that the incident wasn’t just a one-time thing, as there were several instances in which Richard intentionally made a scene on the construction site that halted the building process. Daniel Flaherty didn’t have a choice back then but to ban him from coming to the site, and said that if he didn’t do that, the construction of the restaurant wouldn’t be completed in time for its scheduled opening.

Accusations of missing or incomplete financial records

Sometime in 2015, Richard sent an email to Daniel Flaherty et al, stating that the latter was stealing money from him by not having proper financial records, and even accused them of not setting-up one to begin with. Daniel told Richard that he could check the records of the restaurant in the accounting department anytime, so that he could verify for himself the financial state of the business. Even worse, they found out that Richard had been spreading lies to other people as well. In June 2016, Daniel formally emailed him that he’d heard of his allegations, and reminded Richard that he’d told him on several occasions that he was welcome to audit the books anytime he wanted. Richard replied via email, and apologized for hurling accusations publicly in the bar, writing, ‘My mistake for mixing drinking and emotions. Sorry for that.’ However, it seemed that the defamation lawsuit wasn’t resolved, as new allegations were hurled at the owners of the business.

Richard Rawlings countersued for $1 million

The legal battle continued, and in April 2019, Richard countersued for $1 million, as his official answer to the defamation lawsuit that was filed against him; this time, he cited claims of copyright infringement.

Using intellectual property without permission

According to his lawyer, his client claimed that the Gas Monkey Grill N’ Bar was operating for a few months without a license, and that the original license granted to them by his client was terminated on its own. They’d already sent a letter of notice to the owners but it was allegedly ignored. It turned out that the restaurant and bar continued operating, using Richard’s intellectual property. They presented pieces of evidence in court that affirmed their claim that Daniel Flaherty and his group used his trademark logos when they promoted events and products on their official social media accounts. without seeking permission from Richard. For instance, Gas Monkey Bar entered into an agreement with an alcoholic beverage, Jameson Whiskey, and tied the Garage Monkey brand to it.

Using his trademarked logo in promoting sexually provocative acts

Another thing that earned Richard’s ire was that the Gas Monkey Bar owners violated a clause on the license agreement in which they used his brand in promoting activities in the bar that had highly sexually suggestive content. Some people associated this claim with the strip tease/burlesque show entitled “The Suicide Girls- Blackheart Burlesque” that the Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill had featured in September 2018. It was not something he wanted his brand to be associated with especially since he made a conscious effort in making his reality TV series, “Fast N’ Loud,” family-friendly.

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Mixed reactions on the $6 lawsuit between Richard Rawlings and Gas Monkey Bar

Many people were left bewildered as to why there was even a legal battle to begin with, between Richard and the owners of Gas Monkey Bar when they had a contract that tackled the licensing issue. While Richard had many fans due to the popularity of his reality TV show, he also accumulated haters over the years – television host Joe Rogan even described him as someone whom people loved to hate. He had this persona that it’s ‘either you love him or you hate him’, this certain confidence that attracted many people but some felt that it was bordering on arrogance, making him a douchebag.

At online gearhead sites, people had different views about it. The pro-Richard group generally said that the guy worked hard for many years to create a successful business and developed it into a lifestyle brand, so it was only natural for him to protect it. His name and his brand were being used, and it was just right for him to ensure that others did it appropriately – after all, one mistake could ruin everything. However, those who didn’t like him said that it was plain and simple greed that urged him to make false accusations against the owner of Gas Monkey Bar. They concluded that Richard probably realized too late that he wanted to establish a restaurant and bar that he 100% owned, but that he couldn’t do anything about it since he’d already given Daniel Flaherty et al the license to use his brand.

Caught up in various scandals

Richard certainly had his share of negative press, which was mostly related to his business ventures. The Fort Worth native was a risk taker, and most people were shocked that even before he turned 21, he’d already been a police officer, firefighter, and paramedic. He had this brazen personality to try to do what others perceived to be unthinkable, and that was probably what made him an easy target for scandal.

Counterfeit booze complaint

It seemed that Richard’s fans were indeed correct when they said that whatever issue that would come out of his brand, whether he owned it or gave someone the right to use it, would reflect badly on him – it would be his name that would be dragged into the headlines. Sometime in 2015, the Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill in Dallas was the subject of an investigation.

Apparently, some clients filed a complaint that they were served with cheaper versions or what they assumed to be replicas of top-quality liquors that they ordered. The Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission (TABC) launched an undercover operation inside the Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill, the agents ordering several alcoholic beverages to check if the bar served fraudulent drinks. It turned out that only one drink didn’t live up to its expectations. because it was already watered down by the time it reached the TABC testing facility in Austin. The establishment only received a warning from the commission, but Richard’s brand took a hit, and he needed to assure everyone by going public to explain what happened.

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Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufmann in string bikinis

One of the reasons why there were people who hated Richard was due to his audacity in using every means possible to promote his business, which made them doubt his sincerity. There was a time before he became popular that he along with his chief mechanic Aaron Kaufmann posed for a promo photo wearing only string bikinis and sunglasses. It was done just to irritate their rivals in a competition that they were a part of, but it was mostly the public who were disgusted by it. Up to this day, this photo can still be found online, and fans shuddered just at the thought of it. Most of them said they couldn’t unsee it, and advised others not to look for it.

How did the $6 million legal battle end?

Both the plaintiff and the defendant in the lawsuit were pretty confident that the court would decide in their favor. They both claimed that the problem started at the beginning.

Dan Flaherty et al stated in their complaint that as early as 2016, Richard was already trying to buy back the license that he gave to them, but didn’t have sufficient money to do it. They said that the allegations regarding the finances only started when there was a third party in 2017, that was interested in obtaining the rights to the Gas Monkey Bar, and would have been a done deal if not for Richard spreading false stories about them.

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Austin Champion, one of the lawyers representing Richard in the lawsuit, said, ‘It’s obvious that this is nothing more than a fabricated claim as a last-ditch effort to try to get back the license.’ His client said that Gas Monkey Bar had already violated the license agreement since the first day, and that Richard had tried many times to resolve it since then. Eventually, Richard decided to terminate his relationship with them, when he realized that the group was unwilling to fulfill the obligations that were agreed upon in the contract.

According to court records, sometime in August 2021, both parties decided to resolve the issue by entering into a joint dismissal of the lawsuit, then announced that they’d settled everything between them – Dan Flaherty and his group would no longer be using Richard Rawling’s Gas Monkey brand in their restaurant and bar business. Since both parties never said anything ill about each other after the cases were discontinued, it could only mean that they also entered into a non-disclosure agreement. It was a smart decision from both sides, as they could proceed to pursue other business endeavors without getting negative press from then on.

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What happened to Gas Monkey Bar after the case was dismissed?

Prior to the joint lawsuit dismissal, the Gas Monkey Garage Grill N’ Bar had already ceased operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down businesses globally. After the case was settled, all of Richard’s Gas Monkey trademark logo and name were stripped from the venue, including all the automotive tchotchkes that used to adorn the walls of the bar. The owners had a makeover, and one of its managing partners, Alex Mendonsa, shared, ‘We’ve updated the look and vibe of the venue, and eliminated a lot of the garage feel.’ The owners said that it was like breathing fresh air once again, as they focused more on music and food, which was why they named it Amplified. On their official website, they made sure that they posted a warning that the business was no longer affiliated with Gas Monkey Garage and Richard Rawlings. They boasted that they’d upgraded the place with a better sound system, and the bands that played there since it was re-opened attested that the customers experienced concert-quality performances no matter where they were in the venue.

Richard Rawlings reinventing the Gas Monkey restaurants

The entrepreneur in Richard Rawlings wouldn’t pass the opportunity to take advantage of the lifestyle brand that he’d created. After the $6 million lawsuit was settled, he lined up his plans for reinventing the Gas Monkey restaurant and bar business by expanding it to something unique. It wouldn’t just focus on offering food and music, but would be a venue with diverse ways of entertaining people.

In August 2022, he announced that he planned to launch Gas Monkey Dallas in Farmers Branch at Mercer Boardwalk, and the food would be Tex-Mex cuisine including lots barbecued and burgers. The 40,000-square-meter restaurant was scheduled to open in the spring of 2023, and the hot rodder claimed that it would just be the first of many. He already talked with some investors about having a Las Vegas branch, while another mega restaurant branch was being built in Lewisville. Some of these restaurants will also include playgrounds catering to those who love go-karts, miniature golf, and amusement rides. Some of his classic cars will also be on display for gearheads, as the venue is just a mile away from his Gas Monkey Garage.

Richard Rawlings never backed out of the challenges that life had to offer. While he never enjoyed being embroiled in legal battles, he realized that they were part and parcel of doing business, since he became a prominent figure through the success of his reality TV show. He made mistakes along the way, but never had a problem pivoting from them and exploring other interests. It was this resilience and perseverance that made him who he is today.

As the Managing Editor at The Legit, I direct a dynamic team dedicated to creating rich content that profiles the lives and accomplishments of influential figures. My commitment to detail and storytelling drives the production of biographies that truly engage our audience. I manage all aspects of the editorial process, from conducting thorough research to crafting vivid narratives, all while ensuring the accuracy and quality of our work. At The Legit, our goal is to offer our readers comprehensive profiles that provide deep insights into the realms of business, entertainment, and more. Through diligent research and engaging storytelling, we highlight the exceptional journeys and achievements of those who both inspire and intrigue us.

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Where are the “Crocodile Dundee” cast members now?

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The light-hearted action-comedy “Crocodile Dundee” released in 1986, became Australia’s most commercially successful film ever made, and the top-grossing non-American movie at the US box office for a time. There had been talks of a reboot due to a positive response to a Dundee Super Bowl ad for Tourism Australia in 2018. Many remembered how funny the classic movie was, and are curious about what happened to the original cast.

“Crocodile Dundee”

The story was about a weathered crocodile hunter named Michael “Mick” or “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan), who was raised by a local aborigine tribe. He was known for taming wild buffalo just by staring in the eyes, killing venomous snakes with his bare hands, and hunting crocodiles in the wilds of the Australian Outback. He ran a small safari tour business with the motto, “If you don’t go out with us, you probably won’t come back.” Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), a feature writer from an American daily newspaper, heard about Crocodile Dundee’s legendary exploits and came to meet him. After going on a safari tour with him, she fell for him, and invited him to go to New York City on the pretext of writing a feature story, and there began his adventure on his first trip out of the bush.

The movie’s success at the box office globally was phenomenal, as it raked in more than US$300 million against a budget of less than $A10 million. The main stars, Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski, reprised their roles in the sequels “Crocodile Dundee II” (1988) and “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” (2001). While the sequel was also a worldwide hit, the next one was a flop, receiving unfavorable reviews from critics as it lacked the charm and humor of the original.

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“Crocodile Dundee” Cast – Where are they now?

When a movie was as well-loved as “Crocodile Dundee”, its fans would naturally be curious as to what happened to the cast and where they are now.

Caitlin Clarke

Caitlin Clarke was born Katherine Ann Clarke in 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and went on to have a career as an actress in Regional, Off-Broadway, and Broadway as well as movies and television series. She taught acting in New York City from 1998-1999 as part of a Broadway Theatre Institute initiative. “Crocodile Dundee” was her second film, and she played the role of Simone, the friendly prostitute. None of the other projects she was involved in after that were as successful. However, she was best remembered for her role as Valerian in her debut movie “Dragonslayer” (1981). Her Broadway credits included “Titanic: A New Musical” (1998) as she played the role of Charlotte Drake Cardoza based on a character of one of the first-class passengers who made it onto a lifeboat when the Titanic sank.

In 2000, Caitlin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and went back to Pittsburgh where she taught drama class at the Pitt and at the Rauh Conservatory for young people. She subsequently passed away in 2004, at the age of 52.

Steve Rackman

Steve Rackman had a career in boxing in England before he ventured into professional wrestling with the nickname, “Crusher.” He used to work doors at notorious clubs, and as his big physique was quite impressive, some invited him to join them for wrestling lessons and it went from there. He moved to Australia and joined the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) aired on the Nine Network in the 1970s. One of the most exciting times in his career was wrestling with Andre The Giant inside a steel cage at Melbourne’s Festival Hall, in front of 10,000 spectators. During and after his wrestling days, he had more than 30 advertisements and 40 feature films to his name, oftentimes cast as the ‘bad guy.’ Steve was best known for his role as “Donk” in the “Crocodile Dundee” film series. His agent told him to send a tape of the ‘ugliest, loud-mouthed, mongrel-looking wrestler’ to audition for the character, and before he knew it, he was in all three movies.

As Steve stepped away from the entertainment industry, he opened fitness gyms in Australia with professional wrestler bodybuilder Paul Graham and his wife Carole. He met the former back in 1973 during a WCW taping at Channel 9 Studios. Reportedly, he sold the gyms in 2010 before he retired.

Reginald VelJohnson

Reginald VelJohnson was born in 1952, in Queens, New York City. He had always been a creative person and believed that he was born to act. At age 10, upon seeing Robert Duvall portray the role of the strange and recluse neighbor, Arthur “Boo” Radley, in “To Kill A Mockingbird,” he knew he could do it too. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre. He might have played the lovable limousine driver named Gus in “Crocodile Dundee,” but he was mostly known for playing a police officer. His big break came when he was cast as Sgt. Al Powell in “Die Hard” (1988) followed by Det. David Sutton in “Turner & Hooch” (1989), and Carl Otis Winslow in “Family Matters” (1989-1998).

He remained active in the industry as he continued in movies and on TV. The veteran actor preferred to keep his personal life private; however, as he never married nor had any kids, there were rumors that he was gay and was linked to actor James Avery. Darius McCrary, who played the role of his son in the popular ABC sitcom, was perplexed when asked about the rumors and said, ‘Why is it even a question, I mean, with any artists, what does their sexuality have to do with them entertaining you then performing for you?’

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Reginald was once a victim of a death hoax in 2017. A website called Headlinen News reported that he’d died of a heart attack at the age of 64, but what was believed to be his Twitter account was quick to debunk that rumor. On the About page of the controversial site, it claimed to be a satire site that used real people to create funny stories.

Mark Blum

Mark Blum was born in 1950 in Newark, New Jersey. He began acting in theatre in the 1970s, and in the late 1980s, he received an Obie Award for his portrayal of the character Al in Albert Innaurato’s play “Gus and Al.” His Broadway credits included “Lost in Yonkers,” “The Best Man,” and “The Assembled Parties.” His breakout role in movies was “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985) as Gary Glass. After playing the role of Richard Mason, the editor of the newspaper and egotistical boyfriend of Sue, in “Crocodile Dundee,” he went on to star in numerous films and hit series. He served as a board member of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) from 2007 to 2013.

The stalwart actor passed away at the age of 69 in 2020 at the New York–Presbyterian Hospital, due to complications of the Covid-19 virus He’s survived by his wife of 15 years, actress Janet Zarish.

David Gulpilil

The Australian actor was one of the Yolngu people, an Aboriginal clan who inhabited the north-eastern Arnhem Land. He had a traditional upbringing, and didn’t see white people until he was eight. At 16, David was cast by a British filmmaker for the adventure-survival movie, “Walkabout” (1971), due to his tribal dance skills. His role was that of an Aborigine, which was said to be groundbreaking because such a character in Australia was usually played by a white actor in blackface. He’d already appeared in several documentaries, movies, and dramas before he was tapped to play the comic role of Neville “Nev” Bell in “Crocodile Dundee.”

His charisma on-screen as well as his dancing and acting skills resulted in an illustrious career. He won the Best Actor in a Leading Role award twice from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award (AACTA) for “The Tracker” (2002) and “Charlie’s Country” (2014); he also won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for the latter.

David was introduced to grog, Australian slang for alcoholic, on the set of “Walkabout,” and before long suffered from alcoholism, which later led to a lot of troubles. He was charged in 2006 with ‘carrying an offensive weapon without a lawful excuse’ after an altercation with a friend over his drinking, but was cleared, as the machete in question was said to be used for ceremonial purposes and not intended as a weapon. In 2007, he was accused of ‘bashing’ his wife, Miriam Ashley, and the magistrate in Darwin imposed a 12-month domestic violence order on David. In 2011, he was sentenced to one-year imprisonment for aggravated assault; the previous year, he’d threw a broom at his wife and broke her arm. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 and died at the age of 68 in 2021.

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John Meillon

John Meillon was born in 1934 in Mosman, Sydney New South Wales. He started acting at the age of 11, and by the time he was 16, he was part of a Shakespeare touring company. His work in theatre was quite extensive, and during the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1979, he was appointed as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his service. His portrayal of a father whose son was dying of leukemia in “The Fourth Wish” earned him an award for Best Actor in a Leading Role from the AACTA in 1976.

The character actor was 55 when he passed away in 1989 from cirrhosis of the liver; his body was discovered in his Neutral Bay home by a friend of his. It appeared that his health had deteriorated over the past year, and he’d become ‘quiet and introspective.’ He was widely known for his role as Walter “Wal” Reilly in “Crocodile Dundee” and its sequel, which turned out to be his last project. He was presented the Raymond Longford Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously by the AACTA. John was cremated, and many of his colleagues came to pay their last respects. During the service, his son from his first marriage said, ‘There is no difference having a famous father or an ordinary father. He would never look at it as being anything else than a good father to me.’

Linda Kozlowski

Linda Kozlowski was born in 1958, in Fairfield, Connecticut. She studied acting at the Juilliard School’s Drama Division and graduated in 1981. She made her debut on stage in an Off-Broadway production of “How It All Began” (1981-82). Linda was part of the “Death of A Salesman” on Broadway, and in the 1985 movie version as she played the role of Miss Forsythe. Her biggest break that gave her worldwide recognition was being cast as the female lead, the feisty reporter Sue Charlton in “Crocodile Dundee.” Linda shared that she was overlooked by the casting agents until they got a call from her co-star in “Death of A Salesman” Dustin Hoffman. He told them that she was a ‘terrific actress’ but wasn’t good at auditions. It turned out to be true as her performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.

It was a case of life imitating art, as Linda fell for Paul Hogan on the set as she reprised her role in the sequel of “Crocodile Dundee.” Their affair caused a public outcry, and she knew that people were saying that he was happily married with five kids until a ‘Hollywood bimbo’ came along. First off, she wanted to correct the notion that she was a bimbo, saying that she was college educated. Also, she said that what happened was far from reality, insinuating that Paul’s marriage to his first wife, Noeleen Edwards, wasn’t what it seemed. Apparently, he and Noeleen divorced in 1981 but reconciled and remarried the following year. Paul and Linda tied the knot in 1990, and they moved to California.

As for Linda’s acting career, her last movie was “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” (2001); it was said that she quit acting to focus on being a mother. In an interview with Herald Journal, she revealed that she was miserable in the projects she had been getting of late, and called them ‘schlocky’ films. Also, with her biological clock ticking as she was turning 40, it seemed like the perfect time to have a child; their son was named Chance. However, the couple divorced in 2014. At age 64, Linda was reportedly in a relationship with a Moroccan tour guide named Moulay Hafid Baba.

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Paul Hogan

Paul Hogan was widely regarded as the quintessential Australian, more so when he played the role of Michael “Mick” J. Dundee in “Crocodile Dundee.” He was well-loved by many at least until people learned that he left his wife of 30 years for his much younger co-star, Linda Kozlowski, after the sequel aired. He admitted to being taken aback by the ferocity of the press in covering the story, and the reaction of the public. Paul resented the implication that he abandoned his five children. He said that at that time, they were all grown up except for the youngest, who was 14 – Paul was only 19 when his first child was born. His oldest son said that his father assured him back then that his mother would be taken care of, and that she need not look for a job.

With Linda being branded as ‘the scarlet woman’ or ‘a homewrecker,’ it made life in Australia very uncomfortable for her, so the couple moved to Los Angeles. What he enjoyed most in living there was his anonymity; no one recognized him when he wore sunglasses or a cap, and he considered it a luxury.

In 2005, news came out that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) began an investigation on Paul for tax evasion and fraud pertaining to his “Crocodile Dundee” franchise – it was alleged that he owed ATO millions of dollars of unpaid taxes. After an eight-year-long tax dispute, Paul and the ATO reached a settlement on a ‘without admission’ basis. He was never charged for tax evasion for lack of evidence, but it stained his reputation, so he remained angry about it and had never got it out of his system.

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He is currently single. His marriage to Linda ended in divorce after 23 years, and he said, ‘It was a great example of opposites attract, and then one day, they’re just opposites…We never had any bitterness or fighting, never anything like that. Just sort of wore out, and we moved on.’ Paul had custody of his son when they separated. In his 2019 interview, he said that what kept him in America despite his longing to return to Australia was that his son was still not ready for him to leave.

Recently, Paul, in his early 80s, was photographed outside his home holding a red marker beside a note that read, ‘THIS IS MY HOME NOT YOURS.’ This was reportedly aimed at homeless people who camped outside his house in Venice Beach. He noticed the note but denied leaving it and said via his representative that what he did was wrote down instructions for his electrician. Paul said he had great empathy for the homeless, and would never disrespect anyone in such a way especially the most vulnerable.

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How did Daneliya Tuleshova’s life change after AGT? What is she doing now?

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While there’s no shortage of incredibly talented people who have set foot on “America’s Got Talent” stage, very few times do we get to see prodigies such as Daneliya Tuleshova showcase their talents on such a big platform.

Ever since her first performance in the show in 2020, Daneliya completely mesmerized and amazed the audience with her voice and stage presence. Yet it wasn’t only an opportunity to sing that Daneliya gained from “America’s Got Talent”, as her popularity both in real life and social media also increased greatly thanks to the show.

So how much has Daneliya’s life changed since her “America’s Got Talent” experience and how is she promoting her career these days? Stay here to know all about Daneliya’s career, beginnings, and rise to stardom.

What Is She Doing Now?

There’s no doubt that “America’s Got Talent” is a show which can change people’s lives forever, and Daneliya Tuleshova is proof of that. Despite not winning the competition in either of the two seasons she appeared in it, Daneliya’s marvelous voice has gained her hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world, speeding up her career at a record pace.

Although Daneliya’s earliest music consisted of original and cover songs in a variety of languages including Russian and Kazakh, the song “Like You Used To” from 2021 marked her first single released under a label. Her debut was followed by the singles “Lucky Me” and the extended play (EP) “Trouble” in 2023, all sung in English. She also released her first “Essential Covers” album, though plans of releasing an original studio album are on her mind too, as she told Naluda Magazine in 2021.

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Daneliya’s efforts at building her path in the industry through releases have paid off by gaining her over 600,000 followers on Instagram, added to the 100,000 listeners she’s amassed on Spotify. Hopefully, those numbers will keep increasing as her promising career thrives.

Path In “America’s Got Talent”

Even though Daneliya Tuleshova didn’t take the winning spot in “America’s Got Talent” in either of her appearances in the show, she still left a memorable mark in it. Her debut was during the 15th season aired in 2020, when she was only 14 years old. Her audition consisted of a rendition of “Tears of Gold” by the Moroccan-Canadian singer Faouzia, obtaining approval from judges, despite her initial nervousness.

After skipping the judge cuts, Daneliya’s performance during the quarter-finals was with “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles, enthralling the audience with her marvelous voice. The standing ovation she received was followed by her advancement to the semi-finals, where she sang “Who You Are” by Jessie J, and defeated fellow group contestants W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew and Voices of Our City Choir.

Then in the finals, Daneliya gained her third standing ovation in the show with “I’m Alive” by Sia, passing then to the finale to perform “Kings and Queens” alongside singer Ava Max. Though that last rendition wasn’t enough to gain Daneliya a place in the top five contestants, it was enough to turn her into one of the most unforgettable names from that season.

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Return To The Show & Other Accomplishments

In 2023 Daneliya took another chance at stardom by auditioning in “America’s Got Talent: All Stars” at 16 years old. As she affirmed in her introduction to the show, she wanted another try at the show, feeling that she still had a lot of her talent to show to the world and accomplish her dream of becoming a star.

Her audition was a rendition of “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence, and was praised loudly by the audience and judges. Though that performance was her only one, and didn’t gain her a pass to the next competition stage, it was enough to reawaken the love of the audience towards her.

Between her first and second appearances in “America’s Got Talent”, Daneliya’s life had recently gone through several changes, starting with the fact she moved from her native Kazakhstan to the US in search of new opportunities to expand and promote her career. The popularity she gained in the show also prompted recognition from music fans all over the world, eagerly turning her song covers viral online. To this date, she’s gained over 1.4 million subscribers and over 130 billion views on her YouTube channel.

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What Did She Do Before “America’s Got Talent”?

Even though Daneliya Tuleshova was a new face when she set foot on the “America’s Got Talent” stage in 2020, she was already well-known in her home country.

As it happens, Daneliya’s career started when she was around five years old and joined her earliest singing competitions, though at that point she had already begun singing and dance lessons. Her first important grand prize came in 2017 in the Hopes of Europe competition, followed later that year by her participation and subsequent victory in “The Voice Kids Ukraine”, becoming the first non-national to win. That prize was followed by winning a Glimpse into the Future Award, and growing her recognition all over Europe.

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With two international victories already under her belt at only 13 years old, Daneliya stepped up her game by joining the Junior division of the “Eurovision Song Contest” in 2018, performing the original song “Ózińe sen”. Also known by its English version title “Seize the Time”, the song was written partially by Daneliya and is about ‘faith and dreams’, as she described during an interview with the EuroVoix news portal.

Despite not winning the competition after being placed sixth overall, Daneliya’s left an unerasable mark by becoming the first Kazakh to ever join any Eurovision-related production.

Other Projects & Future

The year 2019 also marked Daneliya Tuleshova’s first performance in the US, though it took place before her “America’s Got Talent” stint; it was in the TV contest show “The World’s Best”, hosted by James Corden and with star judges Drew Barrymore, Faith Hill and RuPaul.

Daneliya’s audition for the show was with Andra Day’s “Rise Up”, followed by her second performance with “What About Us” by Pink. Though she was ultimately defeated and placed eighth overall, her appearances in the show served to open her new career opportunities, such as performing independently in the US and starting her side project Da NeL in 2020, just months before debuting in “America’s Got Talent”.

While there’s no denying that an “America’s Got Talent” victory would surely have been incredibly positive for Daneliya’s career, not winning hasn’t closed any professional doors for Daneliya at all. Now that she’s based in the US and her popularity hasn’t stopped increasing, it’s the perfect time for Daneliya Tuleshova to show the world what she’s made off talent-wise.

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What happened to Shin Lim? How is he doing now?

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There’s no way of denying that “America’s Got Talent” has done an exceptional job at bringing incredibly talented people to stardom. Nonetheless, very few stars from the show have impressed and mesmerized audiences and judges alike as Shin Lim has.

Besides winning his “America’s Got Talent” season, the now world-wide famous Shin Lim also won the spin-off “The Champions” and other international competitions, has toured the world, and has been showing off his impressive card tricks at his successful Las Vegas residence for several years now.

While there’s a lot to be admired about Shin Lim, in recent years he’s awakened the worry of his fans after taking a prolonged hiatus from social media, bringing up many questions about his well-being.

So where is Shin Lim now, and what happened to him? Stay here to discover it!

What Happened To Shin Lim?

Despite not being as active on social media anymore, it’s for sure that Shin Lim is doing as well as ever. In April 2023, his career hit one of its biggest milestones by reaching the 400 show of his Limitless residency in Las Vegas, which also counts with other talented performers such as the mentalist and fellow “America’s Got Talent” former contestant Colin Cloud.

Besides that, Shin has done a great job of giving his fans what they want by listing a wide variety of merchandise on his website, starting with luxury card sets, personalized videos, T-shirts, and even short video courses of his best tricks.

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It’s unclear why exactly Shin has been so inactive from social media though. Both his Instagram and Facebook official pages haven’t been updated since early 2022, added to his widely popular but seemingly abandoned YouTube channel and TikTok profile which haven’t shared any content for even longer. While this sudden hiatus from social media is somewhat out-of-character for Shin, the fact that he’s been working actively on his show all along hints that nothing particularly worrisome has happened to him.

Whether Shin eventually returns to social media or not is yet to be seen, but it’s relieving to know he’s been doing well all along.

Las Vegas Residency & Other Shows

Performing 400 times in your own Las Vegas show is not a milestone achieved by just anyone, but it’s for sure that Shin Lim has worked hard to get there. In late 2019, Shin and his co-star Colin Cloud started their Limitless residency at The Mirage Hotel & Casino.

The experience of setting foot at the Mirage Theater was exciting to say the least, a dream come true to perform on the same stage as legendary magicians such as David Copperfield were before, as Shin said during an interview with Channel 13 Las Vegas back in the 2019.

Although Limitless’ stay in Las Vegas was interrupted during the COVID-19 contingency in 2020, the show was so successful during its initial 18 months long period that it turned into a multi-year residency the following year. Fast forward to 2023, Shin Lim, Cloud, and several other professional magic performers have contributed to Limitless’s successful run at The Mirage for over 400 nights and many more to come.

Besides his residency, Shin has also recently showcased his talents on diverse TV stages such as “CBS Sunday Morning”, and even returned to “America’s Got Talent” as a guest performer during the 17th season.

Path In “America’s Got Talent”

The first time Shin set foot on the “America’s Got Talent” stage was during the show’s 13th season. His set of sleight-of-hand tricks impressed the audiences and judges, gaining him a standing ovation and a pass to the judge cuts.

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Shin’s second appearance in the show was assisted by guest judge Olivia Munn, though she wasn’t the only one surprised at seeing cards appear and disappear from Shin’s hands all over again. Another standing ovation awaited for Shin during that appearance. and his pass to the quarterfinals was safe at that point, regardless of Simon Cowell’s initial skepticism at Shin’s ability to impress him for a second time. The following of Shin’s performances went down a similar path, though the level of difficulty and sophistication of his tricks increased as he made his way through the competition, taking the winning spot in the end.

Right after his first victory in the show and completing his headlining tour at the Las Vegas-based Paris Theater which was part of his prize, Shin went back to “America’s Got Talent” to take part in the first season of the spin-off “The Champions” in 2019. Just as before, Shin didn’t take long before gaining the approval of judges and audiences, also defeating previous seasons’ winners such as Darci Lynne and Cristina Ramos, before becoming the first and only twice-winner of “America’s Got Talent” so far.

Beginnings & Other Recognitions

Although Shin Lim’s double victory in “America’s Got Talent” did wonders in increasing his popularity around the world, the truth is that long before that he was already well-accomplished as a magician and performer.

Going back to the early 2010s, Shin had been a promising pianist whose career was halted after he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, which symptoms made his ability to play difficult. Right there he chose to take a prolonged break from college to pursue a career as a sleigh-hand artist, a hobby he had already been interested in for a couple of years.

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In 2012, Shin competed at the International Federation of Magic Societies World Competition, finishing in sixth place, but his life was yet to be changed by his passion. Right there he embarked on a tour around China alongside other magicians and performers, starting from the bottom, but finding his style as the tour progressed, making it clear that becoming a sleigh-of-hand artist was the right path for him.

Throughout the next couple of years, Shin’s career leveled up before he finally took the winning spot at the Magic Societies World Competition in 2015, also appearing in internationally renowned shows such as the magician competition “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”.

Recognition & Future Projects

Besides his never-ending popularity, Shin Lim has been recognized widely for his achievements and talent in the art of sleigh-of-hand and as a performer. Back in 2017, the Boston Globe described him as possibly ‘the biggest name in magic since David Blaine’, and praised him for his masterful and innovative performance, at a time during which Shin hadn’t even appeared in “America’s Got Talent” yet.

Though Shin has been recognized with several awards from the International Brotherhood Of Magicians, the truth is that Shin doesn’t describe himself as a magician at all, but as a sleigh-of-hand performer: ‘I see close-up magic as a totally different art form and other people have seen that as well’, as he once affirmed to wbur.com in 2020.

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It’s difficult to describe Shin’s abilities as only one type of art, but there’s no doubt that he’s an artist through and through. As Shin told Fox 5 Vegas in 2023, the plans are to continue performing for many years to come, which is relieving news for those who want to keep witnessing his magic unfold.

Though it’s unknown what projects Shin Lim has in mind for the future besides his residency, his path has already been an inspiring and awesome one.

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